Aim: Previous studies suggested a positive association between eczema and cardiovascular disease (CVD), probably through enhanced systemic inflammation. However, several studies reported null findings about eczema and CVD, so the evidence is still controversial. Methods: We asked 85,099 participants (35,489 men and 49,610 women), aged 40 to 79 years, without a history of CVD or cancer at baseline between 1988 and 1990, to complete a lifestyle questionnaire, including information eczema frequency (seldom, sometimes or often). Results: During the 6,389,818 person-years of follow-up, there were 1,174 deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD), 979 from heart failure, 366 from cardiac arrhythmia, 2,454 from total stroke, 1,357 from ischemic stroke, 1,013 from hemorrhagic stroke, and 201 from aortic aneurysm or dissection. The multivariable-adjusted model showed that individuals who “sometimes” or “often” had eczema had 0.82 (95%confidence interval (CI): 0.69–0.97) or 1.26 (95%CI: 1.01–1.56) times the risk of mortality from CHD, respectively, compared to those who “seldom” did. Individuals who “often” had 1.30 (95%CI: 1.05–1.61) times the risk of mortality from CHD, compared to those who “seldom or sometimes” did. There was no association of eczema with mortality from other CVD, or no interaction between eczema and sex or age, in relation to any CVD mortality risk. Conclusions: Self-reported frequent eczema was associated with increased risk of mortality from CHD, but not other major CVD, in a Japanese general population. Since steroid usage was not considered, future studies should include it as a potential confounding factor.
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